File Explorer and Microsoft Excel 2016 constantly freezing on Windows 10

Hello fellow Experts Exchange members:

I have a brand-new Dell Precision Tower 3620 running Windows 10 Pro Version 1703 (OS Build 15063.786) 64-bit running Microsoft Office 2016 (16.0.8730.2046) 32-bit.  The PC has a RAID 1 array.

Ever since the installation of Microsoft Office 2016 during initial PC setup, the user reports the following issues:
  • When browsing a folder with many (up to a thousand or more) PDF or Excel files on a shared folder from a file server, abruptly File Explorer will freeze and become completely unresponsive until force-closed and relaunched from Task Manager.  (The problem mostly happens with Excel files).
This problem appears to be lessened by having the user avoid scrolling in the Preview pane using any other method besides the scroll bars on the bottom and right of the Preview pane.  (However, I would consider asking the user to remember to do this a temporary workaround at best.)
However, this problem does not occur at all on two other computers running Windows 7 Pro and Windows 10 Pro, so it is likely not an issue with the shared folder on the server.
  • The more urgent problem involves Excel.  Intermittently throughout the day, Excel will freeze completely for the user.  Often, the freeze occurs right after the application is launched by clicking on a file on the local desktop (not on a shared folder).
This freezing is severely hampering the ability of the user to work in Excel.

I have tried the following to address the freezing issues:
  • Disabled the "Live Preview" option in Excel (and Word - although Word has never frozen)
  • Disabled the "Acrobat PDFMaker" and QuickBooks Excel Report Updater" add-ins
  • Verified the default printer is set correctly (no printing problems of any sort have been reported with any application)
  • Ran an Office online repair - the problem still occurred
  • Use the Office CTR removal tool to completely purge Office from the computer and then reinstalled after a reboot - the problem continued unabated and even got worse
  • Ran the Dell hardware diagnostics - no problems found
  • Checked the event logs - events with Event ID 1000 (Application Error) and 1002 (Application Hang) appear but have only details similar to the following:
  • Event ID 1002:
The program EXCEL.EXE version 16.0.8730.2127 stopped interacting with Windows and was closed. To see if more information about the problem is available, check the problem history in the Security and Maintenance control panel.
 Process ID: 20
 Start Time: 01d37e6ee8819b78
 Termination Time: 14
 Application Path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\EXCEL.EXE
 Report Id: dda31db7-8af0-4528-9430-88414683dc62
 Faulting package full name:
 Faulting package-relative application ID:
  • Event ID 1000:
Faulting application name: EXCEL.EXE, version: 16.0.8730.2127, time stamp: 0x5a2a2ac6
Faulting module name: EXCEL.EXE, version: 16.0.8730.2127, time stamp: 0x5a2a2ac6
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x0015a118
Faulting process id: 0xb9c
Faulting application start time: 0x01d37e93820c329e
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Root\Office16\EXCEL.EXE
Faulting module path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Root\Office16\EXCEL.EXE
Report Id: 4def15d5-f989-46c6-a7cb-d062919d4b3a
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:  

The freezing only appears to happen with Excel (various documents) and not with any other Microsoft Office application or QuickBooks.

As this issue is rapidly becoming tiresome for the user, I am requesting assistance from any fellow Experts Exchange members who have experienced similar situations.


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It looks that you are using the 64bit version of Excel which is not recommended by MS. 64bit version of Project is the only recommended version which can give you better performance, the rest of Office apps are only potential troublemakers especially excel because is not compatible with some applications.
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Is there a particular antivirus application installed, maybe different from other machines?
Try (just for testing) if it's the same with .xls files.
Peter HutchisonSenior Network Systems SpecialistCommented:
For File Explorer, try a different explorer replacement e.g. Directory Opus from It is much faster and reponsive than Window's File Explorer.
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Iamthecreator OMIT Admin/EE Solution GuideCommented:
Download and run the office configuration analyzer tool from the following location.
The Microsoft Office Configuration Analyzer Tool (OffCAT) provides a detailed report of your installed Office programs. This report includes many parameters about your Office program configuration. It also highlights known problems that are found when OffCAT scans your computer. For any problems that are listed in the report, you're provided a link to a public-facing article (usually a Microsoft Knowledge Base article) about each problem so that you can read about possible fixes.
Office Configuration Analyzer Tool (OffCAT) information
Update office. It is several updates behind if I am not mistaken.
Also try a different user profile on the same machine to see how excel behaves there.

As for explorer: when it only happens with network shares, please update your NIC driver.
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
Check how much space you have on your disk.
Sometimes Disk Cleanup tool helps even if there is enough space.
Also check performance while your issue is happening.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have a couple of Windows 10 Desktop machines and 1 Windows 10 Laptop machine that also run QuickBooks V2018 and Office 2016. No issues.

I suggest you completely uninstall Office 2016, update Windows 10 to Version 1709 and all patches, update BIOS, Chipset, Video, Network, and any RAID drivers.

Restart and install Office 2016 and update (lots of those) and test.  Please let us know.

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Christopher RourkeProduct Manager @ Experts ExchangeCommented:
Does File Explorer lock up only when the user is navigating a shared folder/directory on the file server? Does Excel only lock up when working w/ files opened from the file server? I had similar issues when viewing and running certain larger file types from an external hard-drive on my Windows 10 system.

If the user is launching the excel file directly from the file server have them try copying down a local version to launch and edit.

Update: Just noticed that I missed your mention of the user launching the Excel file from their local desktop. Have you confirmed that it is actually a local copy being launched or could it simply be a shortcut to the file on the server?
John, is the Office 2016 on your laptop 32 or 64 bit?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
My Office is 32-bit as is Office for the Author (first post says 32-bit)
KYiin-ComputerMDAuthor Commented:
Hello, and thank you all for assisting!

I have some replies and updates below:

Bocevski Nick -

I am using the 32-bit version of Excel (on 64-bit Windows 10 Pro).

Qlemo -

The only antivirus installed right now is the default Windows 10 "Windows Defender" antivirus.

Peter Hutchinson -

I will consider Directory Opus, but at this stage I would like to avoid adding any additional third-party software to the PC unless absolutely necessary for troubleshooting.

Iamthecreator OM -

I have run the OffCAT tool, and the only problem identified is "Hardware acceleration is disabled".

McKnife -

I have run the check for Office updates from within Excel, but each time the updater reports "You have the latest version of Office."
However, this may be because the Windows 10 OS is not updated to version 1709 yet.
I am performing the OS update to version 1709 now.

Also, I checked with Dell and Windows Update and did not see any updates for the NIC driver.
However, I will check again on both after the update to version 1709 completes.

Hello There -

The PC is a new PC with 850+ GB of free space on the 1 TB RAID 1 array.

John Hurst -

Unfortunately, the QuickBooks version installed on this PC is QuickBooks V2015 (which - according to Intuit - is fully compatible with Windows 10).

I am updating Windows 10 to version 1709 and will update all remaining patches and check for driver updates afterwards.

Christopher Rourke -

Several of the files that Excel has frozen on are located directly on the local drive while others are on the network share.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Please keep us posted. I converted to Windows 10 in August, 2015 and I would have had QB V2015 at the time and Office 2013 at the same time.
For the nic driver, check at the site of the nic manufacturer, not Dell.

Office updates: Do a screenshot of the version info you see within excel ->account
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
1. Enter Safe Mode and operate with Excel files. Is there any change?
2. Check for any Excel add-ins.
3. Update all drivers.
4. Sometimes Disk Cleanup tool helps even if there is enough space.
5. Also check performance while your issue is happening. And give as a feedback.
6. If this happens only on one device, try to recreate the profile.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
We suggested updating drivers a while back here
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
7. Try this: File > Options -> Advanced > "Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)" unitck box restart Excel.
8. Try if the spreadsheet opens normally through the File -> Open.
9. Check if thereis no Windows update pending.
10. Run sfc /scannow

By updating drivers I mean video driver first.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Always do BIOS and Chipset before updating the Video (in the order laid out earlier).
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
11. Clean Boot - try and see
12. Does it happen on both versions - 64bit and 32bit? Did you try both?
13. Disable Thumbnails and see if this stops the problem. To do so, open Folder Options > View tab > Check  Always show Icons, never thumbnail.
14. Use Optimize for performance in Performance Option under Computer Properties
15. Is there any sync running on background?
16. Disable hardware graphics acceleration in Excel -> Advanced -> Display section
KYiin-ComputerMDAuthor Commented:
An update -

I have updated the Windows OS to version 1709, reinstalled Office 2016 after removing it with the Office CTR removal tool (again), and then updated the drivers (again ... but this time manually using Dell and Intel's websites instead of relying on the Dell Command Update tool.)


AHEM ... as an aside, I am *not* a happy camper to have to report that Dell's Command Update tool appears to not have been updated yet with drivers released this past OCTOBER.


After updating the BIOS and network card driver in the order suggested by John Hurst (from Intel's website, not Dell's), the PC appears to be much more responsive (I am doing all of this through a remote session).
      Also, McKnife - thank you for the suggestion of checking Intel's website!

Hello There - thank you for the long list of suggestions!

Unfortunately, the user has already left for the holiday weekend, so we will have to leave this case at this point until next week.  I will update the case with the results then.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Please keep us posted.
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
Please keep us updated.
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
I would mark all possible answers for other people who will face the similar issue.
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
The only recommendations having received any confirmation are that of John (#a42418575) with a generic "drop Office, update W10 and drivers, reinstall and update Office" approach, and the addition of #a42419128 by McKnife to use the original manufacturer driver.
We can assume with some probability that it helped, but cannot be sure.

Usually I would agree to a delete, but this time it feels correct to accept John's comment with the lion's share, and McKnife with an assist.
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